Government lists Bedford as an 'area of concern' due to rising number of coronavirus cases

Council is urging everyone to do their bit to avoid a local lockdown

Bedford residents are being urged to continue to follow social distancing advice to avoid a local lockdown.

The town has been listed as ‘an area of concern’ by the government after there was a rise in the number of cases over the past three weeks - with 97 cases recorded since July 13 .

Bedford had previously suffered the highest infection rate in the East of England and remains above the regional average.

Even if you never develop symptoms of coronavirus, you could still be infected and pass the virus on without knowing it

The recent Deep Dive report found that there was no singular cause of this high infection rate, so it the council is saying it's vital everyone continues to play their part to keep themselves and their communities safe.

Bedford Borough Council is urging residents to help avoid a local lockdown by continuing to keep two metres apart from people other than those you live with, avoiding gatherings, wearing a face covering if you can, and washing your hands regularly with soap and water or a hand sanitiser for 20 seconds.

To help identify cases, a mobile testing facility is now available seven days a week at Borough Hall in Bedford for anyone with coronavirus symptoms. These include a new, persistent cough, a temperature or a change or loss of your sense of taste or smell.

Anyone with symptoms should only leave their home to get tested. The tests are free and can be booked here or by calling 119.

Even if you never develop symptoms of coronavirus, you could still be infected and pass the virus on without knowing it.

Dave Hodgson, Bedford Mayor, said: “To avoid a local lockdown we’re strongly advising residents to not get complacent and continue to follow social distancing and other advice.”

Patricia Davies, accountable officer Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This recent rise shows we cannot be complacent, and our community has responded well in the past to our calls to help us prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“We would urge all local residents and businesses to adhere to strict government guidance around social distancing, hand washing and sanitising, and encourage people to wear a face covering in all settings.

“We all have a part to play to reduce transmission, keep people safe, and avoid a local lockdown in Bedford.”